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Habitat for Humanity hosting an open house Jan. 10

Habitat for Humanity Cranbrook committee will be gearing up to begin its first build in Cranbrook in in the next few months. On January 10 the committee will be having an open house which will feature representatives from Habitat West Kootenay and Habitat for Humanity Boundary. Most notably, Mark Rodgers, chief operating officer for Habitat for Humanity Canada, will be in attendance to answer questions.

Gord Johnston, project leader for the Cranbrook project, said the public is invited to the open house.

"We're inviting anybody who has expressed interest in Habitat so far and we're inviting the general public," Johnston said, adding they are starting the big push for April as they look for goods in kind and volunteers. So far they have about 50 people on the list that have expressed interest in some way in the project, as well as many businesses in the community that are putting forward materials and services.

There is a lot of planning and preparation involved in the project, said Johnston.

"We just really want to make sure this is a good, solid event for everyone so that we can carry this on," he said. "We hope to do more builds obviously in the future, and a lot of that keys on how successful this first build is, so it's pretty important that this first one goes well."

Johnston said they will also be recruiting the family during the month of January. Applications will be accepted starting January 2. The partner family has to put in 500 hours toward the build.

"By the end of January we'll know how many we've had apply," he said. "It's quite a process."

The family pays a no-interest mortgage on the house, so the family has to be self-sufficient, he said, but also demonstrate the need for the assistance.

The house and property have been appraised based on the plans at $151,000, Johnston said.

"Now that's an affordable house," he said. "We sell the home to the family for fair-market value. It's pretty encouraging."

He said the Slaterville neighbourhood is pretty ideal for the project.

The open house is January 10 at 7:30 p.m. at 120 - 7th Avenue South Cranbrook.

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